Trio of Terror
June 21, 2003
Queho'st Gaurd, Central Lake Mead
June 21, 2003
The Trio of Terror
Ahvote, Mouse and Queho
A Keepsake, issued on the occasion of the second sailing of the Que-host Guard,
Queho Posse Chapter 1919's Spring Doins, June 21, 2003, of the Ancient and
Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus, as called for and led by our esteemed Noble
Grand Humbug, Doyle "Loan Shark" Jensen, and rendered in words by
Clamphistorian Mark Hall-Patton, for the elucidation and education of the
Three Misunderstood and Basically Good NatIve American Residents of Southern Nevada, Who Were Sorely Oppressed by the White Invaders of Their Native Home, And Acted Out by Depriving a Few of Their Oppressors of Their Lives, or
The Trio of Terror
Ahvote, Mouse, and Queho
By Clamphistorian Mark Hall-Patton, XNGH, DS 3
An Obfuscationist Press Imprint
Copyright 2003, by the Obfuscationist Press.
All rights to reproductions are held by a rather spectacularly overt, thought basically unkind individual who does not want his deathless prose ever to see the light of day, though given the fact that he often does not remember the light of day except in pain, it may just not matter at all, so what the hell are you doing reading this far into a statement which could conceivably keep going until the end of the page or at least until James Joyce's Ulysses on book tape (all 243 tapes with automatic repeats at the end of tapes 39 and 47) get finished, completed, and done droning on in the background and making the Clamphistorian need yet another drink, which can be a real problem when there are no PBCs around to get you a beer when you need it, but that being the case, it still strikes this writer as amazing that anyone would still be trying to read this sentence (and one sentence it is) to find out whether it is possible, just possible, that there is any meaning in either these words or life itself, though of course none of this has anything to do with the copyright notices, which was a wasted effort in the first place so find the author and give him a beer and call it good,
The fine print--
All facts herein are represented as true and correct, with the full weight and approbation of any and all who have or have not reviewed, interrupted, retained, restrained, refried, and rehashed the information contained herein, Should errors of fact or supposition be found, noted, revealed, or in any other manner brought forth to the Brothers of ECV, be it known that they will have been placed herein with that final end in mind.
Mouse, Ahvote, and Queho
The Trio of Terror
First, A Politically Correct Introduction to Our Subject of the Day:
Mouse, Ahvote, and Queho comprised a string of local Indian killers who mayor may not have had reason for their actions. Perhaps in our enlightened modern days, with the influence of postmodern radical feminist thought and revisionist Marxist critical historical perspective, we might feel for the lost childhood and the dismay which was evident in their early years. We could now understand that they were acting out of an easily understood frustration for the loss of their ancestral rights to the invading white, often red-shirted, American male, a scourge that ranged across much of the Southwest throughout the mid to late 19th century, destroying the idyllic, utopianesque, peace- loving, matriarchal peoples who so calmly co-existed with the wonderfully advanced civilization of the Hispanic peoples, whom the aforementioned white males also oppressed in an unholy and insane need to dominate all they saw, which included the widders and orphans.
Now on to the Real Story:
Fortunately for us today, such contemporary academic nonsense was not known in the period from about 1897 to 1919, when today's subjects, Mouse, Ahvote, and Queho, carried out their murders in the dusty, dry areas around today's Lake Mead in Southern Nevada. They each, at different times through this period, brought a reign of terror to today's Lake Mead area.
The first of our great renegade trilogy was Ahvote, the brother of a Paiute named Mowawich. On July 21, 1890, Mowawich killed a stage driver across the river from EI Dorado Canyon. According to Charles Gracey, the manager of the Southwestern Mining Company properties in the canyon, the driver had been gambling with some Paiutes, taking one Indian for everything he had (the aforementioned Mowawich). Later that evening, the stage driver returned to his camp where he was killed and a large amount of silver was stolen. Mowawich then appeared in the canyon to gamble and drink with said large amount of silver.
When the body was found, it was seemed quite obvious who had done the killing. As the county seat at the time was Pioche, which was a few days travel away from the area, no Sheriff was called to investigate. The Southwestern Mining Company put up a $100 reward to the capture or death of Mowawich, and local miners, in the custom of the time, formed a delegation from the Eldorado Canyon mining area and called at the Paiute village, demanding that the village capture and punish the killer. The Paiutes agreed, and decided among themselves that Ahvote, his younger brother, should do the job.
Leaving the Canyon, Ahvote was successful, bringing back his one ear and a big toe from his brother's body as proof. The miners were not convinced and eventually Ahvote had to lead a delegation to where he had buried his brother's body.
As might well be expected, this somewhat unhinged Ahvote, who, seven years later on May 12, 1897, began killing. He had sworn to kill five whites for making him kill his brother, and did just that.
He had returned to the area in 1895, and worked snagging wood from the Colorado River for the mine operations. Given the lack of timber in the near vicinity, this was a common way for the Indians to trade with the miners. He was working, but could not snag the wood alone, and other Indians did not like to work with him. He tried to get his wife to work, but she refused, and he beat her badly. He then stole a rifle and ammunition from Betaviam, a Paiute elder in the area.
He began his killings with Judge J. M. Morton, who had tried to befriend him. After becoming quite intoxicated, Ahvote had gone to the Gold Bug Mine and Morton invited him to have breakfast. After breakfast, Ahvote shot and killed Morton.
Ahvote then met Lars Frandsen, a freighter, and his helper Den Jones at Huess Spring, killing both of them. Ahvote later went to the cabin of Charles Nelson (the namesake of the town of Nelson) and killed him. His last victims were Charles Monaghan and John Powers. Charles Gracey was contacted with the news and brought in the bodies too be buried.
Soon, Ahvote was hunted down and killed on Cottonwood Island in the Colorado River, a site which is today under Lake Mojave. Though at least one account has this killing being done by Queho, this is most likely an apocryphal story. Most accounts have the killers of Ahvote as two other cousins, Steve and Pete. In yet another account, Charles Gracey claimed to have met with Betaviam, lent he and three other Indians rifles and ammunition, and directed them to track down Ahvote.
His actions led to some tense times with the miners in the valley, who were not convinced of the Indians' willingness to deal with Ahvote. He reported later that he feared the white miners much more than he did the Paiutes. When Betaviam reported back that Ahvote was dead, he had a letter from John Apple and Fred Wagner, who had both known Ahvote, and were also acquainted with Gracey. In the letter they reported having viewed the body, and that the killer was indeed dead.
Mouse was the next in line of our trilogy for today. He was a Paiute working at the Bonelli Ranch, located just below where the Virgin River enters the Colorado. Johann Daniel Bonelli was a Swiss who had converted to the Mormon faith and moved to Utah. Brigham Young had sent him to this desolate area to start a ferry on the Colorado River, and start a settlement.
Mouse worked for Bonelli, but one night he got a bit too much liquor and started taking potshots at his fellow Indians. The next morning, Bonelli fired him, took away his rifle, and sent him on his way. Mouse went to the White Hills Mining Camp in Arizona, about 35 miles south of the Bonelli Ferry, and worked there for a few months. However, he again decided, probably under the influence of the demon rum, to steal a 30-30 rifle, ammunition, and a horse.
Mouse headed to the Las Vegas Ranch in Nevada, but before he arrived he found a miners camp occupied by a Major Greenwat, who was almost 80, and two younger men named Stearns and Davis. Mouse told Stearns and Davis he know where gold was further out into the hills near their camp, and they decided to follow him, leaving the older Major Greenwat at camp. They never returned.
A couple of days later, as a reconstruction of events later showed, some of the hands at the Bonelli ranch found a horse and bridle missing. Ranch foreman Joe Perkins took one of the Paiutes with him and followed the very clear trail the thief had left. Since they did not catch him, they decided to start out again the next day rather than sleep out in the open.
Map of Mouse's route
The next day George Perkins, who later left an account of this chase which was published in Desert Magazine in December of 1939, left the Bonelli place with a friend of his, another Paiute. They went to Callville, and then to the Kyle Ranch (today's North Las Vegas). There they were told that Mouse had been there on a horse that matched their missing one. Over the next couple of days they tried to find Mouse's trail but were unable to do so. They did cross the river, making their way to Major Greenwat's camp, where they heard that his companions, Stearns and Davis had not returned from their trek into the hills with Mouse some days before.
A later search located the bodies of Stearns and Davis, who had been killed on a narrow trail up a mountain. Both had been shot, and Stearns's boots and Davis's gun taken. The bodies were recovered, and though searches were conducted, Mouse was not found.
He had apparently been hiding near Indian Springs, though some accounts have him near Mouse's Tank in the Valley of Fire State Park, which was named for the killer. For the next two years there were sightings of Mouse in that area, as well as near Mt. Charleston where on one occasion he set up an ambush for a wood gatherer who, because he changed his route that day, survived.
On July 4,1901, an old Indian lady found that one head of cabbage had been taken from her garden. She thought the thief might be Mouse, and a posse of whites and Indians was formed. The chase took 10 days, most of which was following the trail. The Paiutes were most anxious to continue the chase, as they were afraid he might get away and come back to harm them.
After following the trail past the Mouse's Tank area, then to St. Thomas and back to Valley of Fire, the trail was a long one. Eventually covering well over 30 miles of land, in the heat of July, it was a grueling search for hunter and hunted. Mouse was eventually sighted on the tenth day, and fired upon. Mouse fired back while running, reloading his pistol while on the run. He was brought down in a hail of gunfire, and when the body was examined, three fatal shots were found. Such was the end of Mouse.
However, Mouse was not to be the last in this string. Queho, the last of the great renegade Indians of Southern Nevada began his known murders in 1910. He was a half Cocopah, half white or Mexican local Indian. He had lived and worked in the Eldorado Canyon area during the reigns of Ahvote and Mouse, and perhaps had seen the impact their rampages had wrought on the local population.
Why he started to kill is unknown, though some accounts have his first victim as Henry Bismarck, a fellow Indian, whom he was supposed to have killed in a drunken brawl just after Thanksgiving 1910. His first white victim may have been J. M. Woodworth, a woodcutter for whom Queho worked at times. Woodworth was said to have refused to pay Queho, who then decided that a large piece of wood, correctly applied to the side of Woodworth's cranium, could bring sufficient satisfaction that a lost paycheck could be overcome. Unfortunately, it was apparently not as satisfactory to Woodworth, whose body was found soon after.
Queho killed a number of other people, mainly in Eldorado Canyon. Some of his victims included Hy Bohn, a shopkeeper, and "Doc: Gilbert, the night watchman of the Gold Bug mine, who carried a badge numbered 896. That badge was found years later among Queho's remains, helping to identify them. After each killing, Queho melted into the rugged country around Eldorado Canyon.
After these killings a posse was formed to find the killer. The first posse was unsuccessful, as was the second, and Queho faded from view. He was spotted on a few occasions from a distance over the intervening yeas, but never located. However, he was credited with quite a few killings, normally isolated prospectors and sheep herders who would be missing either firearms or shoes, and the massacre of an entire Indian family including children on the Arizona side of the river.
In 1919, Queho was back with a vengeance. Early in January, he killed Eather Taylor and William Hancock, both local miners. He then committed his last known killing came the night of January 21, 1919, when he killed Maude Douglas with a single shotgun blast at her home at the Techatticup Mine. Ike Alcock noted that the last killing was among the most senseless, as
"No woman more sympathetic than Maude Douglas ever lived, and if Queho had said he was hungry she would have given him food, even though he was an outlaw - same as she fed every stray dog and prospector who came along. He didn't need to kill her ... "
This time, a posse was formed by Sheriff Frank Wait to chase him down. The posse was hard at it, being led by a well known local Paiute named Old Baboon. A reward, eventually totaling $3,000 was offered by the State of Nevada and others for his capture. Queho, though, had learned well his mountains and valleys, and continued to hide in the area.
The last recorded sighting of Queho came in 1930, when he walked into a store on Fremont Street in Las Vegas and bought some food. Though not apprehended, the fact that he was still alive kept Wait, and a few original posse members like Ike Alcock, looking for Queho.
For all the looking he was never captured. Local resident Knute Jensen claimed to know his whereabouts and would even leave food for him when in the area. Such residents felt Queho was not the deranged killer he had been made out to be.
In February 1940, the long search was finally ended when Charley Kenyon, and Art and Ed Schroeder located an interesting cave along the Colorado River about 10 miles south of Hoover Dam. In the cave they found the remains of Queho, along with the original badge #896 and other items taken in some of the early murders. There were also items which had been stolen from the Hoover Dam construction, and enough evidence that it was determined that Queho had only died about six months before being found.
Queho's remains after being removed from the cave
The old posse was no longer needed, and Frank Wait, who helped identify the body, was able to put the case of Queho to bed.
Queho's travels were not ended though. His remains were taken to Anna Roberts Parks funeral home in Las Vegas, where they were examined, and pronounced definitely those of Queho. A fight then broke out between various entities who claimed the body, including Clark County, and the Bureau of Reclamation. After three years of haggling, Parks said she would be happy to turn over the body to whomever wanted it, providing they paid for the original embalming work and storage. After that, there were no takers for the body for many years.
Eventually, the Elks Club paid the fees and took possession of the remains. A reproduction of the cave in which the body had been found was constructed on the Helldorado Grounds, and Queho was on display each year at the annual Helldorado Celebration. After some years, the bones were removed, and stored in a shed on the grounds of Cashman Field, where they were regularly "discovered", with all the attendant law enforcement interest. Eventually they passed into various individuals' possession.
Eventually, the remains were acquired by Roland Wiley, a local attorney. Wiley felt Queho's journey's should be ended, and buried his remains on the Hidden Hills Ranch near Pahrump, near an area he had named Cathedral Canyon. Apparently, Queho finally had his rest, and the saga of the renegades of Southern Nevada, or the Trio of Terror, was finally at an end.
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